A powerful former member of the Virginia House of Delegates was found guilty Wednesday of bribery and extortion for seeking a job at Norfolk’s Old Dominion University in exchange for obtaining state funding for the school.
Former Del. Phillip A. Hamilton, 59, faces up to 30 years in prison in one of Virginia’s few public corruption cases.
A federal jury took the afternoon to convict Hamilton, who was hired as part-time director of the Center for Teacher Quality and Educational Leadership after arranging for state funding to help launch the center, which trained urban school teachers. He was paid nearly $90,000 between 2007 and 2009.
Hamilton tried to hide the relationship and asked an ODU official to falsely say that he was the center’s director instead of Hamilton — a year after Hamilton had been hired.
Hamilton, a 21-year Republican veteran from Newport News, was one of the most powerful members of the House before he was defeated in 2009 after news of the federal investigation became public. He also resigned from the center, which no longer exists.
As a budget negotiator and vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Hamilton was one of the few legislators who helped determine how billions in state money were spent.